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Rated: E · Poetry · Arts · #2218176
A disregarded wonder of my home town.
Ring Road

There’s a ring road in my home town,
a great looping, swooping design
of concrete walls and flyovers,
encircling the ancient heart of the city
and visible as a serpentine bracelet,
modern and brash, unashamed
to be only fifty years old yet
disregarded, reviled by some,
cradling as it does
a thousand years of history
in a postwar, naked, grey statement
of the new. Ride the asphalt roller coaster,
arching above the streets,
then burrowing suddenly underground,
joining and leaving at intersections
that scare visitors silly,
traffic merging, slotting together
like a forty mile an hour zipper,
the joy of the hardened local.
Or stand and gaze at a soaring overpass,
an amalgam of elegance and grace
on massive columns bedecked
in multifarious colour and style graffiti,
and, on one slablike bridge support,
a tribute to the dormitory town,
Bedworth, joined at the hip now
to our northern suburbs,
one word that speaks of the spirit
that proclaims identity in the world we built,
“Beduff,” it says, a perfect encapsulation
of loyalty and prickly pride.
Twenty seven years I was away,
oh, city of my birth; I never acquired
the warm syrup of your beloved accent,
but I suspect that I learned
in that long exile
to understand your beauty
beyond the stained glass warehouse
raised in place of the burnt out shell
of the cathedral alongside,
the medieval streets, the watchmakers'
houses, the precinct with its precocious
malls and ramps and pigeons,
even the car parks, supermarkets,
all nestled within that glorious hula hoop,
Coventry’s secret glory, the ring road.



Word Count: 46
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